Catastrophe and its Ghosts

A year after whole neighborhoods were killed by the Japanese tsunami, rumors of ghosts swirl in Ishinomaki as the city struggles to come to terms with the tragedy.

One reconstruction project appears stalled because of fears the undead spirits of those who perished last March will bring bad luck.

”I heard people working to repair the store became sick because of ghosts,” Satoshi Abe, 64, says, gesturing to a half-repaired supermarket. ”People died everywhere, here and there. The city is full of such stories

…anthropologist Takeo Funabiki says it is only ”natural” that stories of the supernatural abound after such an event.

”Human beings find it very difficult to accept death, whether they are inclined by nature to superstition or are very scientifically minded,” he says. ”A sudden or abnormal death, anything other than someone dying in bed of old age, is particularly difficult for people to comprehend.”

Read the rest at The Sydney Morning Herald

Tsunami recedes but ghosts linger
March 10, 2012
Everything from building work to taxi services are still affected by fears of undead spirits, writes Miwa Suzuki.

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